Social media and smartphones will lead to an increase in illiterate children within a generation, warns Howard Jacobson, a Booker Prize winning author. “We will have children who can’t read, who don’t want to read.”
He believes these technologies are having a damaging effect on children’s language use. He said communication via social media and mobile phones removes the nuance and irony from conversation.
“If Trump doesn’t destroy us in the next year, in the next 20 years, social media will have destroyed us,” he said.
“I can’t read any more as much as I used to,” he added. “My concentration has been shot by this b***** screen. I can’t do it now — I want space, I want white pages, light behind the page.”
He said he use to relax reading “300 densely-packed pages” of a Henry James novel – but he said he now found he was too easily distracted.
According to recent research the amount of American adults who read novels is at the lowest ever recorded, with just 43 percent having read one book or more in the previous 12 months.
And there has been an almost 10 percent decline in the number of children reading for fun between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.